12 Day Private Self Guided Group (Reverse)

12 Day Private Self Guided Group (Reverse)

Trip Highlights

  • Trek the famous Larapinta Trail in its epic entirety!
  • Immerse yourself in the spectacular Tjoritja National Park
  • Explore the West MacDonnell Ranges at your own pace
  • Enjoy the complete flexibility self guiding provides
  • Wilderness camping under the stars of the Australian Outback
  • An abundance of unique wildlife and flora at every step
  • Summit the majestic Mt Sonder (1380m)
  • One of the best long-distance arid-zone walks

Trip Summary

For experienced walkers taking on the challenge of the entire 223km length of the Larapinta Trail, following the spine of the West MacDonnell range, should be high on the bucket list!

Walking self guided and at your own pace is one of the best ways to truly appreciate the immensely diverse and unique landscapes, flora and fauna of this trek. The trail takes you through narrow canyons, stunning gorges and forests of mulga and mallee, over high ridgelines and around idyllic waterholes, spending each night under the expansive star-filled Outback sky. During this complete traverse of the inspiring Larapinta you will be carrying your DAY pack, up to 25kg. There are challenging stages as you pass over remote ridges and canyons, walking up to 35kms on some days. The feeling of achievement that will come over you as you view your path from the top of Mount Sonder on day 1, (section 12) of the trail, is a memory to cherish for a lifetime.

On this 12 day self guided trek you'll be provided with the essential equipment for experiencing Outback Australia by foot. We'll set you up with comprehensive maps, and invaluable advice from our experienced guides prior to your departure. World Expeditions are pioneers of this iconic trek and the first to offer self guided Larapinta trips, and we are proud to support you on your independent journey by providing the best equipment and incomparable local knowledge.

A self guided walk along the Larapinta is suited to experienced walkers comfortable with their sense of direction and map reading.

Suitability

To determine the grade of a particular adventure we consider a number of factors. These include the condition of the walking terrain, the altitude and the length of the trek. This trip is graded moderate to challenging. This trek involves 6 – 7 hours walking each day, sometimes more, over rugged terrain with some steep ascents and descents. You will need a very good level of fitness and must be in good health. You will be carrying a day pack and should be prepared for potential variable weather conditions.

In order to complete this trek we advise that you undertake 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended. Please contact our staff if you have any queries about your suitability for this trip.

Itinerary

Early morning we will leave Alice Springs and drive to Redbank Gorge (approximately 1.5 hours drive). It is recommended that you get an early start for your ascent of Mount Sonder (known as 'The Pregnant Lady' by the local Anangu Aboriginal people). By starting your walk of this section early you can complete the climb in the cool morning air, before the sun heats up the land. Mount Sonder is one of the highest peaks west of the Great Dividing Range and the views from the top are incomparable; standing on the summit and taking in the landscape will be one of the many highlights of your Larapinta Trail journey. Difficulty rating: Hard | Walking time: 6 hours

Meals:  B,L

This section has views dominated by the impressive bulk of Mount Sonder. The colours of this magnificent mountain change dramatically throughout the day. You will pass beaneath the flanks of Mount Sonder, walking through dense Mulga and Mallee woodland until you reach the beautiful Redbank Creek. Your walk climbs over a low section of the range and descends into Rocky Bar Gap where you can take a break before heading east. You head south east through a sea of spinifex before crossing Davenport Creek, a tributary of the Finke River. Difficulty rating: Hard | Walking time: 9.5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This is a shorter and more gentle section of the Larapinta Trail which leads you into the head of the Finke River. The local indigenous Arrernte name for the Finke River has given the trail its name: Lhere Pinte (Larapinta) meaning salty river. If you feel like a further walk after setting up camp at the Finke River some walkers like to do a side-trip (without packs) to Glen Helen where there is a small shop, pub, and a stunning waterhole – perfect for an afternoon swim. There are also showers here. You may like to enjoy a beer overlooking Glen Helen. The to walk onto Ormiston Gorge. Difficulty rating: Medium | Walking time: 4 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

On arrival at Ormiston Gorge you will find many lovely campsites, a kiosk and showers. If you go for a quiet walk at dusk you may be lucky enough to see the shy dingo that sometimes roams along the river bank near camp. An early start is required to fit in all of the highlights of this section of the trail. Today takes you into the rugged heart of this ancient landscape on a track only opened to the public as recently as 1997. The trail today is again challenging as you ascend to 1088 metres. And again, as always on the Larapinta, your epic climb is rewarded with expansive views. The view opens up across the Alice Valley to the giant, bulky mass of of Mt. Giles, one of the Northern Territory's highest peaks at 1389m. Difficulty rating: Hard | Walking time: 12 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

You ascend through mysterious old Mulga stands from camp at Serpentine Chalet.This section of the trail offers breathtaking views as you walk along the high quartzite ridge lines that typify the West MacDonnell Ranges. You go to Counts Point where you are able to take in clear views of Central Australia’s western horizon, to Mt Zeil (1531m) the highest peak in the Northern Territory, and Mt Sonder which marks the end of the Larapinta Trail. You can even see the fascinating, huge comet crater of Gosse Bluff. Difficulty rating: Hard | Walking time: 5.5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Your camp will provide you with an opportunity to relax or wander at leisure around the hills of your campsite at Serpentine Gorge. The trail will take you through scattered woodlands and over a stile to a trig point, a good spot for lunch.Today you will be walking through the vertical-spined dolomite country of the Bitter Springs formation. These 800 million year old rocks contain fossilised stromatolites, the cyanobacteria that were amongst the first life forms on this earth. It is worth taking time to admire Ellery Creek Big Hole waterhole at the end of the day even a swim if you are game enough to get in the freezing water!!. Difficulty rating: Hard | Walking time: 5.5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

This is a long walking day and an early start will be required. Your overnight camp is at Hugh Gorge.The walk today continues along the south side of the West MacDonnell ranges whose soaring presence dominates your views as you move through lower level woodlands and spinifex. On today's walk you could chance upon Painted Firetails and a variety of different bird species. Keep your eye out especially for the beautiful Spinifex Pigeon which relies on the tough spinifex plant for camouflage and food – you'll see them strutting amongst the plants with their tall, elegant crest bobbing along with their every step. Difficulty grading: Medium | Walking time: 11 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast the trail takes you on a rough spinifex journey through this semi-arid region allowing breathtaking views of Hugh Gorge. You should rise early today for one of the most challenging and rewarding sections on the trail. The track undulates vigorously over rough, rocky terrain and you are exposed (to the elements and to the magnificent views!) atop Windy Saddle and Razorback Ridge, Fringe Lily Creek, a nice stop for lunch as it offers some shade. Difficulty rating: Very hard | Walking time: 10 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

After one of our favourite campsites at the peaceful Birthday Waterhole we head towards Standley Chasm You take on a steep ascent and pass Mintbush Spring, named for the native plant that grows here, a beautifully mint-scented bush related to sage and lavender. Then follow the spectacular Bridle Trail, an old trading route used by the early settlers in the region. You head up to follow the ridge line over Reveal Saddle to Brinkley’s Bluff. From this high point, just over 1100m, you are rewarded with superb views of the spine effect created by the West MacDonnell Ranges. Then we descend down into Standley Chasm. Your camp for the night is at Standley Chasm. There is a kiosk here and showers are available. Difficulty rating: Very Hard | Walking time: 9 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

From the Flat camp you climb through rocky terrain before ascending from the south into the deep, red rock and out of Standley Chasm.You continue on through varied terrain dotted with Mulga and Witchetty Bush to Tangentyere Junction. Here the track diverges to follow the ridgeline above the Finke River. A good place to stop for lunch is Millers Flat. On arriving Jay Creek you are on sacred ground, where the Aboriginal custodians ask that you walk only in the dry creek bed. Today's walk is nothing short of spectacular. Difficulty grading: Hard | Walking time: 5.5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

From your idyllic camp at Jay Creek we head towards Simpsons Gap. At Simpson's Gap you walk through pleasant grassy flats and low, rocky hills bearing the scars of early cattle grazing, evidence of the fragility of this arid environment. Graceful Ghost Gums are also to be seen on this section, coated in a white powder with powerful antiseptic properties used by Aborigines. One of the most peaceful parts of the trail is Spring Gap. You can observe a wide variety of plant life and watch for birds at the waterhole. Listen for the excited babble of the Grey-crowned Babbler, a social bird that bounds through the leaf litter searching for food. Difficulty grading: Medium | Walking time: 8 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

From Simpsons Gap the trail passes through Witchetty Bush and Mulga scrub, You may catch sight of a shy Echidna or Black-footed Rock Wallaby at Simpsons Gap or as you approach Scorpion pools. We then head over exposed hills and shady woodlands before you arrive for lunch at Wallaby Gap. From Wallaby Gap, you follow the trail weast through magnificent, shady Bloodwoods and tall Ironwoods, the dominant trees on this narrow alluvial flat. The trail from here winds among boulders of Alice Springs Granite, the highest of which offers fine views of the town and Mt Gillen. Your walking finishes at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station which is the official start and end of the Larapinta Trail. The historical stone buildings here date back to 1872 and housed the first Europeans to live in Central Australia. It's worth having a look around the Station when finishing your walk. Here there is a small Cafe and our guide to pick you up and congratulate you on all the hard walking you have achieved over the last 12 Days!! Difficulty rating: Medium | Walking time: 9 hours

Meals:  L,D

What's Included

  • 3 food drops along trail of food selected and chosen by your own group
  • Camp stove and fuel
  • Cooking and eating utensils
  • Sleeping mat, tent (twin share), back pack, sleeping bag
  • Off-road transport to/from Alice Springs to start/finish of your trek
  • All National Park and camping fees
  • EPIRB in case of emergencies
  • Complete set of Larapinta Trail maps and route descriptions
  • Rain jacket

What's Not Included

  • Airfares
  • Accommodation in Alice Springs before and after the trip
  • Items of a personal nature, such as laundry and postage
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Snacks

Upcoming Travel Dates

AT A GLANCE

Duration:12 Days
Countries:Australia
Starting Point:Alice Springs
Finishing Point:Alice Springs
Activities:Trekking
Grade:Moderate to Challenging  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5226
Prices From:AUD$960